Wild Yaks: 10 Ships (Don’t Die Yet!)

Wild Yaks
10 Ships (Don't Die Yet!)
Ernest Jenning

Refined from a rowdy nine-piece congregation of tub-thumping, bluesy country punks into a user-friendly hardcore group of four, Brooklyn’s Wild Yaks play elemental rock ‘n’ roll with feral abandon. Bar-room punk harmonies rise above squalling electric guitar, blasting sax, and pulverized drums as they set loose on a barrage of raucous, shout-along party songs.

Both line-ups appear on 10 Ships (Don’t Die Yet!), a debut album which is cleaved in two as four live tracks taken from recent shows are added to studio recordings made in June 2008, seeing three songs revisited. Really, it’s more like a two-EP package. The live material, which perfectly captures the band in their natural habitat — presumbably a dingy, sweaty basement bar somewhere — comes out on top. Having said that, the sax used on the earlier outings is sorely missed on the tent-revival country-punk of “River May Come” and “Crazy But Not Afraid”. These guys are worth spilling some beer down your T-shirt for.

RATING 6 / 10